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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  May 2019

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS May 2019

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Subject:

Special issue CfP - Marriage-making among Roma in Central and Eastern Europe: Practices, Meanings, Economies

From:

Ana Chiritoiu <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ana Chiritoiu <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 1 May 2019 10:52:41 +0200

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

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text/plain (112 lines) , CfP Roma Marriages in CEE_ final.docx (112 lines)



Dear all,

We are seeking contributions for a Special Issue of the Martor Journal of
the Romanian Peasant Museum, on Marriages among Roma in Central and Eastern
Europe:
Call for Papers <http://martor.muzeultaranuluiroman.ro/call-for-papers/>

In Central and Eastern Europe and in the territories of their migration,
the marriages of Roma and their ritual elaboration are often a source of
concern for policy makers and an occasion of astonishment for non-Roma
publics. Either because these alliances are concluded by arrangement, as
opposed to modern “free-choice” love matches, or because they are conducted
between minors, or simply because of the wealth and gold displayed at
weddings, Roma marriages remain controversial. Moreover given that the Roma
don’t often speak about themselves publicly, and journalistic depictions of
the phenomenon rarely go beyond sensationalism, Roma marital practices
remain poorly understood. In this context, we believe that ethnographic and
historical research on marriage-making among Roma originating in Eastern
Europe and living here or beyond it could illuminate questions as about the
persistence of culturally elaborated practices subsumed under the label of
“marriage” despite attempts at national and EU levels to regulate these
practices and bring them in line with the European institution of marriage.

If in European *Gadze* (non-Roma) societies marriage fell under the control
of the state and of the Church long ago, Roma “marriages” remained largely
outside the sway of the state. However, that does not make them less of an
institution–in effect it makes them even more so, seeing how vernacular
“marriage” practices among Roma are paramount to the organisation of gender
hierarchies and political relations, and to the maintenance and
reproduction of the social order and cultural distinctiveness of various
Roma populations. Illustratively Roma “marriages” involve extended
families, and subsume practices as diverse as betrothals, elopements,
“payments” and conspicuous wedding ceremonies. Reckoning with the fact that
Roma “marriages” are at variance with the common definition of “marriage”
as the state- (and church-)sanctioned, love-based union of two people, we
ask: How do Roma conceive of the institution of marriage? What kind of
meanings do they endow it with, and how does it articulate with other
social and cultural tropes in the maintenance of the social order?
At odds with the interest paid to Roma “marriages” by mass media and policy
makers, anthropologists sidelined the idiom of marriage in their studies,
and have treated the topic as a handmaiden of other units of analysis, such
as gender and personhood, economies of luck, respect for the dead, or
positionality vis-a-vis non-Roma. These approaches reflect a broader
tendency in contemporary anthropological studies to bypass the topic of
marriage, once critical to anthropological thinking, or at best to
subordinate it to other, purportedly broader, scopes of analysis.
This special issue proposes to restore Roma “marriages” to the centre of
analysis, keeping in line with their centrality in our interlocutors’
lives. Indeed, many ethnographies, as well as our own field practice,
indicate that it is through marital ties that the Roma achieve full
personhood; moreover, beyond power relations and affective practices inside
the couple*, *marital unions are an arena for the expression of the
cultural values of the whole social group. If for the Roma marital
alliances are not primarily a consecration of love, but rather a process of
cohabitation, of achieving affection, goods, social standing, and of
kinning between extended families, how does this process unfold? What are
the strategies, ceremonials, and daily practices that constitute and
maintain a marital union, what imaginaries engulf it, what economies are
embedded in it, and what group relations does it mobilize? Furthermore,
what does comparative historical analysis contribute to the understanding
of current marital practices among Roma populations?
We therefore invite papers that take marital practices as their core unit
of analysis, and explore what marital alliances are and do for Roma
societies, by tracking what they entail, how they shape Roma sociality, how
they contribute to social reproduction, and how they changed across time.

We call for ethnographically-grounded and/or historically-informed articles
which engage with Roma ‘marriages’ across various groups, regions, and
periods in Eastern Europe and beyond.

Submissions will be in either English or French and will count between
7-10,000 words. Please follow the guidelines for authors of the *Martor *
journal*:* http://martor.muzeultaranuluiroman.ro/for-authors/
Prior to contributing their submission, authors are asked to submit an
abstract of 300 words max to [log in to unmask]
Deadline for abstract submissions: 20th May 2019.
Publication date: Autumn 2020

Thank you for distributing widely!
Catalina Tesar and Ana Chiritoiu

Call for Papers

Call for Papers MARTOR 25/2020 MARRIAGE-MAKING AMONG ROMA IN CENTRAL AND
EASTERN EUROPE: PRACTICES, IMAGINARIES...
<http://martor.muzeultaranuluiroman.ro/call-for-papers/>

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